- Smoking causes more than 120,000 deaths each year in the UK
- Smoking is the largest single preventable cause of death
- Smoking accounts for more than one third of deaths in middle age
- Smoking costs the NHS more than £1500 million annually
- Smoking causes an estimated 50 million working days lost through sickness absence
- 27% of smokers are concentrated in the lowest 10% income group
In 1996 adult smoking rates in Britain rose for the first time since the 1970’s. Stronger Government policy measures to control the use of tobacco, prevent children from starting to smoke and help smokers to give up are urgently required. In December 1998 the Government in its White Paper on tobacco - "Smoking Kills" - sets out a wide range policy measure to re-establish the downward trend in adult smoking. Particular targets are children, young people, pregnant women and working class smokers.
We think it is appropriate at such a time of national awareness that an attempt is made to identify the smoking habits of patients in this practice, motivate them to try and stop and encourage children, teenagers and non-smokers not to start.
- To initially search our computer records for those patients with a smoking history.
- To opportunistically record the smoking habits of the remainder over a period of six months.
- To advise all smokers to stop.
- To assist smokers to stop
- To arrange follow up
Recording of smoking habits will be achieved by:
- General practitioner consultations
- Nurse practitioner consultations
- Practice nurse consultations and encounters
- District nurse consultations and encounters
- Midwife/antenatal encounters
- Health visitor consultations and encounters
- Patient questionnaires in waiting rooms
Smokers will be encouraged to quit by alerting them to:
- Health risks
- Financial implications
- Risks of passive smoking
This will be done opportunistically and at organised "Stop Smoking Clinics"
Protocol for clinics
Use Smoking cessation Sophie
- Smoking history in Adult screening current problem, but create new problem Health admin: smoking and note Refer to smoking cessation clinic if appropriate (use Sophie).
- Initial visit – identify:
- Smoking habits
- Current concerns about smoking
- Interest in trying to stop
- Previous attempts and reasons for failure
Smokers not ready to quit
- Explain about concerns for health and wellbeing
- Offer a leaflet on stopping smoking (see
motivation cycle ).
Smokers ready to quit
- Provide appropriate advice and support, eg keep a smokers diary
- Make self reward list
- Identify crucial smokes
- Identify "difficult social situations"
- Identify supportive people
- Advice on bupoprion and nicotine replacement therapy
- Set a "Quit Smoking" day
- Review visits (at negotiated intervals depending on individual)
- Evaluate difficult times/lapses
- Partner/friend/workmate smoking
- Encourage to try again
- Reinforce heath and financial benefits
- Continue to encourage
- Change marker on computer from "smoker" to "ex-smoker" if continued abstinence
After a further six months search our computer records for percentage change in smoking habits. This will be repeated on a six monthly indefinite basis and fed back to the Primary Health Care Team for evaluation and assessment.
- 70% of patients over 15 will have a computer record of smoking history.
- Staff time for preparation and evaluation of patient questionnaires
- Increased general practitioner and nurse consultations
- Involvement in local health promotion activities
- Audit assistant time
- Preparation and distribution of no-smoking posters and stop smoking leaflets.
The above proposal reflects our determination to be pro-active in motivating our patients to try and stop smoking and to encourage children, teenagers and non-smokers not to start. We will contribute a local strategy to tackle smoking as suggested by the Government’s recent White Paper – "Smoking Kills".
- Department of Health: Smoking Kills: A White Paper on Tobacco London Stationery Office 1998
- Raw M. McNeill A, West R: Smoking Cessation Guidelines for Health Professionals. A Guide to Effective Smoking Cessation Interventions for the Health Care System Thorax 1998
Referrals may be made for patients who are ready to stop smoking for individual counselling.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (Northumberland guidelines)